It would seem that Calvin Johnson's decision to retire has been long in the works, longer than previously anticipated. A new report came out Sunday evening from ESPN's Adam Schefter that traces the first seeds of his decision back to the beginning of the season, when Johnson told Lions teammates that 2015 would be his final season in the NFL. The same report indicated that he also told head coach Jim Caldwell that he was in the processing of deciding to retire days after the season ended.
According to Schefter's report, Calvin Johnson initially shared his decision with teammates Stephen Tulloch and Matthew Stafford before the season began and swore them to secrecy on the matter. After the season ended, Johnson reportedly told Jim Caldwell the news, who asked him to take all the time necessary to weigh his decision. The Lions organization did not learn of Johnson's plans until after the season.
Important to note: Caldwell told Calvin Johnson not to rush decision, to take time. Out of respect to Caldwell, Johnson agreed to do that.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 31, 2016
After what appeared to be a few wrinkles and shifts in the story line last week, with a few inklings that a return might be possible, this news seems to indicate that all matter of speculation can safely be thrown out the window. Megatron's retirement from the game has been in the works for over a season now -- another season full of injury and pain, with Johnson appearing on the injury report week in and week out with ankle troubles, to say nothing of the Lions' own turbulent season. Although he is weighing the issue out of respect for Jim Caldwell's words, it's a hard-pressed outlook to think that a few weeks will erase all the thoughts and doubts that have been swirling in Calvin Johnson's head for a whole season of vicious football.
There has not been any confirmation on the report yet from Calvin Johnson or his camp. That all said, there isn't much hope for optimism now if you're hoping for a return. Brace yourselves.